Inguinal hernia repair

Open or larparoscopic surgery for a hernia in the groin

Inguinal hernia surgery is a surgical procedure to repair a hernia and strengthen the supporting abdominal muscles. This can be a primary hernia, or a recurrent hernia.

About inguinal hernia repair

A groin-area hernia is the most common type of hernia. It's caused by a weakness in your abdominal wall, which allows the contents of your abdomen to push through the muscle, producing a lump called a hernia. If left untreated, a hernia will not heal on its own and can cause serious complications.

Types of inguinal hernia

Open primary inguinal hernia repair (one side)

Open surgery is also a common procedure for a primary inguinal hernia on one side. Your surgeon will make a single 6-8cm cut over your hernia to remove the hernial sac, repair the tissue and reinforce the muscles to help prevent recurrent hernias.

Open primary inguinal hernia repair (both sides)

If you have a hernia on both sides of your groin (bilateral) your surgeon can repair them through two 6-8cm cuts on either side of your abdomen. Depending on the size and complexity of your hernias, an open procedure may be the best option for you.

Laparoscopic primary inguinal hernia repair (one side)

Keyhole surgery can sometimes be used for a single groin hernia on one side. Two to four small cuts are made to allow your surgeon to make repairs using tiny instruments, guided by a special camera. Keyhole surgery often leads to faster recovery time.

Laparoscopic primary inguinal hernia repair (both sides)

Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery for a bilateral hernia is a minimally invasive procedure, done through tiny cuts on either side of your abdomen made with small surgical instruments and a special camera (laparoscope) to guide your surgeon throughout the procedure.

Laparoscopic repair of recurrent inguinal hernia (one side)

If you have a hernia that has come back following an earlier procedure (recurrent hernia), it may be possible to repair it laparoscopically. Your surgeon will make a few very small cuts on your abdomen to repair the hernia and reinforce the muscles with surgical mesh.

Open repair of recurrent inguinal hernia (one side)

Recurrent hernias are often repaired with an open procedure. Your surgeon will generally make a cut following the line of your original scar to repair the hernia and put a mesh in place to help prevent it from coming back again.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Inguinal hernia repair may be done under local anaesthetic, or a general anaesthetic. The procedure can be done as a laparoscopic (keyhole) or open procedure. Your surgeon will recommend the best approach for you.

    Both procedures allow your surgeon to return the protruding tissue of the hernia back into your abdomen. They may use strong stitches or a mesh to reinforce any weak spot in your muscles to help prevent the hernia coming back. Your surgeon will then close the cut with dissolvable stitches.

    The whole procedure takes around 45 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. If you're having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should be able to return home the same day as your surgery. You might have some swelling or bruising in the area for a couple of weeks, but this should improve over time. It can take up to six weeks to make a full recovery from inguinal hernia surgery. It's important to avoid any heavy lifting during this time. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise.

Our general surgeons

We're proud to work with leading consultants who perform a large number of hernia operations every year.

A hernia can be performed either as an open procedure or laparoscopically, your consultant will discuss the most suitable option with you. 

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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